Putin labels Trump summit ‘successful’
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that his summit with President Trump was “successful” and opened “the path to positive change” between the U.S. and Russia but warned that Trump’s opponents are trying to sabotage international relations.
In remarks to Russian diplomats, according to the Associated Press, Putin warned that “forces” in the U.S. were resisting cooperation between the two nations, especially on military issues such as the civil war in Syria.
“We will see how things develop further,” Putin said, adding that the meeting was “successful overall and led to useful agreements.”
He did warn, however, that there needs to a “positive agenda” warning that relations between the U.S. and Russia are “in some ways worse than during the Cold War.”
“We need a different, positive agenda. Of course, we talked about this at our meeting,” Putin told the diplomats. “No matter what differences we have, the first step is made.”
His comments come as President Trump battles backlash at home over remarks he made during a joint press conference with the Russian leader. Trump, standing next to Putin on Monday, said that there was no reason why Russia “would” be behind efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.
The next day, Trump said he misspoke, telling reporters that he meant to agree with U.S. intelligence agencies in their assessment that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 elections, saying he meant to say there was no reason why Russia “wouldn’t” be behind the meddling efforts.
The president has also predicted improved relations with Russia following the bilateral summit with Putin, his first solo meeting with his Russian counterpart since becoming president.
“I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship,” Trump said. “I really think the world wants to see us get along.”
The president also blasted the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling, seemingly linking it to poor relations with Russia both in stated comments and later on Twitter.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted, referring to the special counsel’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.